"In the U.S., plant milk has surpassed $2 billion in annual sales and accounts for 40% of the total plant-based food market, with 41% of U.S. households buying dairy milk alternatives,” says Ken Iritani, Amano Vice President of Technical Sales, in a press release.
A challenge for the industry, Amano pointed out: Formulating plant-based milk to have a pleasing sensory experience while maintaining the transparent, clean-label consumers want. “While consumers are drawn to clean-label, they aren’t willing to sacrifice taste,” says Iritani, who pointed to Mintel research that showed 52% of consumers listed taste as the most important factor when choosing plant-based products; 39% listed health.
“Now that plant-based milks have successfully entered the mainstream, the key challenge for brands has shifted from gaining acceptance to achieving optimization,” said Iritani. “For centuries, enzymes have played a role in many types of food preparation, and they can be an important tool for non-dairy milk manufacturers. These natural substances, derived from plants, animals, or microorganisms such as fungi, act as catalysts in food that fuel chemical reactions impacting such characteristics as texture, color, and consistency.”
Related: Unilever, Algenuity Partner on Plant-Based Protein Beef-Lentil Blends Make a Healthier, More Sustainable Burger, Report Finds Flavor + Functionality for the Win!Iritani also discussed a solution from Amano:Protein Glutaminase ‘Amano’ 500 (PG 500), which can be used to increase the solubility of proteins and improve their emulsification properties to create a smoother mouthfeel. “PG 500 allows plant-based milk brands to go one step further with their clean-label positioning, thereby living up to the highest standards which discerning consumers increasingly desire,” added Iritani. “It provides a smart, label-friendly solution for a better sensory experience, which blends in nicely with the ethos and messaging championed by plant-based milk industry leaders.”
The white paper is available for download here.